Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Priti Patel
(Witham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 July 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission: Hatfield Peverel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the three planning decisions he announced on 8 July 2019 for the sites Gleneagles Way and Stone Path Drive in Hatfield Peverel, if he will make an assessment of the availability of public transport in Hatfield Peverel.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 July 2019

In reaching his decisions on these cases, the Secretary of State took into account the wide range of issues raised, based on the detailed findings of the planning inspector who held an inquiry into these cases, and the further representations made by the various parties. The decision letters set out in detail the Secretary of State’s reasoning and conclusions. They can be found on the Department's website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-applications-called-in-decisions-and-recovered-appeals

Now that the decisions have been issued the Secretary of State has no further jurisdiction in these matters, and it would not be appropriate for Ministers to comment further on the reasons for the decisions or the merits of the schemes. Annexed to each decision letter is a schedule of all representations and correspondence received since the close of the inquiry, together with details about how copies of this material may be obtained.

Grouped Questions: 275745 | 275747
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Transport
Driving: Licensing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 26 June (HL16465), what assessment they have made of the case for introducing a target time for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to (1) send out questionnaires to doctors to confirm the fitness of someone to drive after having received a request for a licence to be reinstated, and (2) make a decision once it has received a questionnaire back from a doctor, to ensure that the DVLA are delivering an efficient service.
A
Answered on: 12 July 2019

There are no plans to introduce additional target times for activities within the medical application process. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) dealt with around 750,000 medical cases in 2017/18 and aims to complete 90 per cent of these within 90 working days. In the financial year 2018-19 the DVLA completed 91.7% of cases within 90 working days.

The DVLA aims to deal with all cases as efficiently and as quickly as possible. The length of time taken to deal with an application depends on the medical condition involved and whether information is needed from medical professionals.

Q
Asked by Cat Smith
(Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Asked on: 03 July 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Disability: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to co-ordinate cross-government policy on disabled children.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 12 July 2019

The Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance leads on policy for children and families within DWP. To fulfil this role, the DWP works with a range of other departments to ensure the policy we deliver for children and families is effective. This role does not extend to coordinating children and families’ policy across government.

On Tuesday 25 June, the Government launched a new cross-government approach on disability. This is guided by a vision where disabled people can participate fully in society and that recognises the contributions that disabled people make.

To drive forward this approach, government will establish a new cross-departmental disability team in the Cabinet Office, and the Office for Disability Issues will be incorporated into the team. This move recognises that disabled people face barriers across a wide range of aspects of their lives and across the whole of the life course, including throughout childhood, and that coordinated cross-government action is therefore vital.

The new Cabinet Office disability team will sit in the new Equalities Hub alongside the Government Equalities Office and the Race Disparity Unit. Together they will be better equipped to understand that people are often affected by multiple discriminations and disadvantages and to drive meaningful progress on equality.

The team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to take forward this new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy.

In addition, part of the role of the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work is to work across government to encourage the development of policies to tackle the barriers disabled people face to realising their full participation in society. Whilst disability policy is the responsibility of all Departments, by working together we can improve disabled peoples’ participation, for which we are jointly responsible.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to 25 Year Environment Plan published on 11 January 2018, what estimate he has made of the additional financial resources required to deliver the commitments made in that plan for the financial years (a) 2019-20 (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 July 2019

Delivering the plan requires systemic changes across all parts of our economy. Our recently published Green Finance Strategy is an example of how we are driving this change by ensuring environmental risks and opportunities are integrated into mainstream financial decision-making; and accelerating finance to support the delivery of our environmental ambitions.

A key pillar of this approach is our plan to replace the scheme of payments under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy with a new Environmental Land Management scheme. As we leave the EU, we will establish a new scheme of payments to reward land managers for providing public goods, aligned to the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan.

In addition, the forthcoming Environment Bill will introduce a mandatory biodiversity net gain requirement for development. This will incentivise the avoidance of environmental impacts in development design, encourage the delivery of wildlife habitats in development sites, and stimulate the development of markets in habitat creation which will help to ensure that developers are able to fulfil net gain obligations off site when appropriate. We have also announced £50 million of funding for a new Woodland Carbon Guarantee to stimulate domestic carbon offsetting and incentivise new tree planting, and awarded £10 million of funding to four landscape-scale projects to help restore 6,580 hectares of upland and lowland peatlands over three years, with forecast 23,000 tonnes of carbon saved per year.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average number of prisoners in each of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project was in (a) the last six months of 2017 and (b) the last six months of 2018.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 12 July 2019

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) publishes monthly individual prison population and capacity information through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-population-statistics

The table below shows the average level of prison population in each of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project in the last six months of 2017 and 2018.

Prison

July-Dec 17

July- Dec18

Hull

1025

990

Humber

1051

1005

Isis

619

621

Leeds

1113

1027

Lindholme

1002

902

Moorland

1000

959

Nottingham

983

856

Ranby

1058

1008

Wealstun

820

806

Wormwood Scrubs

1218

1147

The reduction in population in these prisons follows the national trend for England and Wales. In addition, several prisons across the estate have been operating with reduced capacity. This is due to a range of reasons, such as enabling maintenance to be performed and action taken in response to Urgent Notifications triggered by the Chief Inspector.

The 10 Prisons Project aims to reduce violence in ten of our most challenging prisons by reducing the supply of drugs; restoring basic decency and providing the training and support for prison officers to challenge the behaviour that drives violence. The project received an initial £10 million funding to improve security and decency, and bolster leadership capability over a 12-month period.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 05 July 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of looked-after children who were taken into care as a result of their mother receiving a custodial sentence in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 12 July 2019

The information requested is not held centrally.

Q
Asked on: 27 June 2019
Home Office
Metals: Recycling
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unlicensed scrap metal sites have been closed by local authorities in each of the last five years.
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The Government supported the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”) which provided better regulation of the metal recycling sector, including making it an offence for a scrap metal dealer to operate without a licence.

Under the 2013 Act, a scrap metal dealer who operates without a licence is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale. The Sentencing Council are responsible for setting the maximum statutory fine limits and, for offences committed after 13 March 2015, the maximum fine for Level 5 is unlimited.


The Home Office collects information from police forces on the number of offences that involved the theft of metal for its scrap metal value. These data are published annually by the Office for National Statistics and can be found in the ‘Property Crime tables’ here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/focusonpropertycrimeappendixtables. The Government does not hold data on the number of unlicensed scrap metal sites that have been closed by local authorities.

Grouped Questions: HL16764
Q
Asked on: 27 June 2019
Home Office
Metals: Recycling
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to increase the £5,000 fine for unlicensed scrap metal sites.
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The Government supported the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”) which provided better regulation of the metal recycling sector, including making it an offence for a scrap metal dealer to operate without a licence.

Under the 2013 Act, a scrap metal dealer who operates without a licence is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale. The Sentencing Council are responsible for setting the maximum statutory fine limits and, for offences committed after 13 March 2015, the maximum fine for Level 5 is unlimited.


The Home Office collects information from police forces on the number of offences that involved the theft of metal for its scrap metal value. These data are published annually by the Office for National Statistics and can be found in the ‘Property Crime tables’ here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/focusonpropertycrimeappendixtables. The Government does not hold data on the number of unlicensed scrap metal sites that have been closed by local authorities.

Grouped Questions: HL16763
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 27 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Sentencing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for the Middle East on 18 June (HC264373), whether the training provided by the UK to a delegation from the government of Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior on alternative sentencing was delivered as part of their technical assistance programme to that country; and on which dates that training was delivered.
A
Answered on: 11 July 2019

No training on alternative sentencing was provided to the delegation from the Ministry of Interior when they conducted a study visit to the UK on the 14-15 March. The study visit was a part of the technical assistance that the UK is providing the Government of Bahrain.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of exposure to prison violence on re-offending rates.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

We know that the evidence suggests that if prisoners feel safe and supported they are more likely to have the time and headspace to take positive steps to address the causes of their offending. In addition, we know that access to rehabilitative services such as purposeful activity is an important protective factor for preventing violence and self-harm.

This is why are taking urgent action to improve prison safety and security, alongside reforms to overhaul the system to focus on the rehabilitation of offenders. We are tackling the supply and demand of drugs, drones and phones, which drive prison violence and undermine safety.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prison Officers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average number of prison officers in post was in each of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project in (a) the last six months of 2017 and (b) the last six months of 2018.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The Government is taking unprecedented action to improve safety in prisons, including recruiting over 4700 officers since October 2016, and investing an extra £70 million to improve safety, security and decency. As a result, we have 1,500 more prison officers in post than this time last year. The table below provides figures for the average number of prison officers in post in the each of the prisons from the 10 Prisons Project between July and December 2017, and July and December 2018.

Table 1: Average1 number of band 3-5 prison officers2 in post in each of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project

Full Time Equivalent

Average number of Prison officers in post

Between July and December 2017

Between July and December 2018

Hull

260

304

Humber

236

277

Isis

135

204

Leeds

273

311

Lindholme

219

238

Moorland

222

261

Nottingham

292

285

Ranby

222

253

Wealstun

195

221

Wormwood Scrubs

227

316

1. Average of monthly snapshots, taken at the end of the month.

2. Includes Band 3-4 / Prison Officer (incl. specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officer and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

These prisons are also part of the 10 Prisons Project, which aims to reduce violence in 10 of our most challenging prisons by reducing the supply of drugs; restoring basic decency and providing the training and support for prison officers to challenge the behaviour that drives violence. The project received an initial £10 million funding to improve security and decency, and bolster leadership capability over a 12-month period.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Security
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the total additional capital spend was on physical security in each of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project in (a) the last six months of 2017 and (b) the last six months of 2018.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The 10 Prisons Project was launched in August 2018 with an aim to reduce violence in 10 of our most challenging prisons by reducing the supply of drugs; restoring basic decency and providing the training and support for prison officers to challenge the behaviour that drives violence. The project received an initial £10 million funding to improve security and decency, and bolster leadership capability over a 12-month period.

As capital expenditure is usually accounted for in the last quarter of the financial year, we have provided figures for capital spend1 on physical security in the last six months of both the 17/18 and 18/19 financial years (table a) and the 2017 and 2018 calendar years (table b).

Table a - Last 6 months of the financial year (Oct-Mar):

Spend (£k)

2017/18

2018/19

Hull

0

161

Humber

11

433

Isis

0

508

Leeds

0

372

Lindholme

0

257

Moorland

0

482

Nottingham

0

434

Ranby

0

503

Wealstun

0

210

Wormwood Scrubs

108

396

Total

119

3,756

Table B - Last 6 months of the calendar year (Jul-Dec)

Spend (£k)

2017

2018

Hull

0

0

Humber

0

0

Isis

0

0

Leeds

0

0

Lindholme

0

0

Moorland

0

0

Nottingham

0

0

Ranby

0

0

Wealstun

0

0

Wormwood Scrubs

0

0

Total

0

0

1Figures exclude resource expenditure.

Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders in each Police Force Area were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody who had (a) 26 to 50 previous convictions, (b) 51 to 75 previous convictions, (c) 76 to 100 previous convictions and (d) over 100 previous convictions in each year since 2007.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data, covering the period 2007 – 2018, on:

  • The number of offenders in each Police Force Area with a specified number of previous convictions who were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody.
  • The number of offenders in each Police Force area with a specified number of previous convictions and cautions who were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody.

We know that some prolific offending can be driven by a variety of factors, including drug addiction and poor mental health. The Ministry of Justice has also published experimental statistics at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756282/prolific-offenders-experimental-statistics.pdf which show that theft and summary non-motoring offences are the offences most likely to have been committed by prolific offenders.

Table for PQ 272944 (Excel SpreadSheet, 36.79 KB)
Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders in each Police Force area who were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody had (a) 26 to 50 previous convictions or cautions, (b) 51 to 75 previous convictions or cautions, (c) 76 to 100 previous convictions or cautions and (d) over 100 previous convictions or cautions, in each year since 2007.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data, covering the period 2007 – 2018, on:

  • The number of offenders in each Police Force Area with a specified number of previous convictions who were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody.
  • The number of offenders in each Police Force area with a specified number of previous convictions and cautions who were convicted but not sentenced to immediate custody.

We know that some prolific offending can be driven by a variety of factors, including drug addiction and poor mental health. The Ministry of Justice has also published experimental statistics at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756282/prolific-offenders-experimental-statistics.pdf which show that theft and summary non-motoring offences are the offences most likely to have been committed by prolific offenders.

Table for 272945 (Excel SpreadSheet, 36.79 KB)
Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average sentence length in months was for people who received an immediate custodial sentence and had (a) zero, (b) between one and four, (c) between five and nine, (d) between 10 and 15, (e) between 16 and 25, (f) between 26 and 50, (g) between 51 and 75, (h) between 76 and 100 and (i) 101 or more previous convictions in each year since 2007.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data on:

  • The average custodial sentence length of offenders with a specified number of previous convictions who were sentenced to immediate custody, covering the period 2007 – 2018.
  • The average custodial sentence length of offenders with a specified number of previous convictions who were convicted of a specified offence and sentenced to immediate custody, covering the period 2009 - 2018.

We know that some prolific offending can be driven by a variety of factors, including drug addiction and poor mental health. The Ministry of Justice has also published experimental statistics at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756282/prolific-offenders-experimental-statistics.pdf which show that theft and summary non-motoring offences are the offences most likely to have been committed by prolific offenders.

Table for 272946 (Excel SpreadSheet, 26.83 KB)
Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average sentence length was in months for people who received an immediate custodial sentence and who had (a) no, (b) between one and four, (c) between five and nine, (d) between 10 and 15, (e) between 16 and 25, (f) between 26 and 50, (g) between 51 and 75, (h) between 76 and 100 and (i) 101 or more previous convictions, and who were convicted of (i) violence against the person (ii) theft, (iii) drug offences, (iv) robbery, (v) common assault and battery, (vi) burglary in a dwelling, (vi) production, supply and possession with intent to supply a controlled drug - Class A, (vii) possession of article with blade or point and (viii) assaulting, resisting or obstructing a constable or designated officer in execution of duty over the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data on:

  • The average custodial sentence length of offenders with a specified number of previous convictions who were sentenced to immediate custody, covering the period 2007 – 2018.
  • The average custodial sentence length of offenders with a specified number of previous convictions who were convicted of a specified offence and sentenced to immediate custody, covering the period 2009 - 2018.

We know that some prolific offending can be driven by a variety of factors, including drug addiction and poor mental health. The Ministry of Justice has also published experimental statistics at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756282/prolific-offenders-experimental-statistics.pdf which show that theft and summary non-motoring offences are the offences most likely to have been committed by prolific offenders.

Table for 272947 (Excel SpreadSheet, 26.83 KB)
Q
Asked by Ben Bradley
(Mansfield)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Department for Education
Adult Education: East Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote the benefits of adult learning in the East Midlands.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 11 July 2019

We are developing a skills system that can drive improvements in social mobility and are doing this by implementing key skills reforms, which although are national policies, will benefit people in all areas and from all backgrounds.

The National Careers Service offers free careers information, advice and guidance to both young people and adults through a website and telephone helpline. Adults are also supported through the local community based service where face to face guidance is available.

The Adult Education Budget is used to engage adults, including those furthest from learning and the workplace, to provide them with the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning. It enables more tailored programmes of learning to be made available, which do not need to include a qualification.

Apprenticeships are accessible to people of all ages, and training can be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of people with children returning to part-time work or those needing to re-train. We are making apprenticeships longer and better, with more off-the job training and proper assessment at the end. New apprenticeship standards across all levels are being designed and driven by industry, which is creating higher quality training that will lead to a more skilled and productive economy. The new apprenticeships campaign, Fire It Up, was launched in January 2019. This campaign is working to increase the number of high quality apprenticeships offered and started, by changing the way people think about apprenticeships, demonstrating that they are an aspirational choice for anyone with passion and energy.

We are developing a National Retraining Scheme, which will help prepare adults for the future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them to retrain into better jobs. The scheme is being developed and rolled out in stages so that we can learn and adapt to users’ needs as we go. Learning from the career learning pilots, the Construction Skills Fund and the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund will inform how we can better engage adults about the opportunities and benefits of training.

We have been working with all local enterprise partnerships in the East Midlands to ensure that Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) are established by October 2019. SAPs aim to bring together local employers and skills providers, including colleges, independent training providers and universities, to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs and to work together to understand and address key local challenges, including helping to tackle local skills shortages. SAPs will help address both immediate needs and challenges and look at what is required to help local areas adapt to future labour market changes and to grasp future opportunities. This will help universities, colleges and other providers deliver the skills required by employers, now and in the future.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what statistics his Department holds on trends in the proportion of people who receive a custodial sentence as a child and then go on to receive a custodial sentence as an adult in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 11 July 2019

The proportion of adult offenders given a custodial sentence who had previously received a custodial sentence as a child (2010 to 2018) can be viewed in the table below:

Proportion of adult1 offenders given a custodial sentence2 who had previously received a custodial sentence as a child3, England and Wales4, 2010 to 2018

Year

Percentage

2010

16

2011

16

2012

17

2013

16

2014

16

2015

15

2016

15

2017

15

2018

15

Source: Ministry of Justice extract of the Police National Computer

Notes:

1 - Aged 18 or over at time of sentence

2 - Immediate custody or suspended sentence for adults, immediate custody only for children (as suspended sentences are not available for under-18s)

3 - Aged between 10 and 17

4 - England and Wales includes all 43 police force areas plus the British Transport Police

The Government is clear that reoffending rates among children in the criminal justice system are too high. That is why we are working to reform youth custodial provision through the development of secure schools, a new type of secure provision for children, and delivering a wide-ranging change programme in existing youth custody sites including workforce reform, infrastructure changes and a new approach to behaviour management and education and healthcare delivery. Alongside this we are driving forward reform of the criminal records regime, considering how we can improve youth sentencing and working to explain or address disproportionality across the youth justice system.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 05 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many sentences were reduced on appeal because they were manifestly excessive in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

Information on the numbers of sentences reduced on appeal because they were manifestly excessive is not held centrally.

Data on appeals against convictions and sentences heard in the Crown Court is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-january-to-march-2019 and data on appeals against convictions and sentences heard in the Court of Appeal is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/civil-justice-statistics-quarterly-january-to-march-2019.

Q
(Oxford East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Council Tax: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) women, and (b) men have been given a custodial sentence for the non-payment of council tax in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 11 July 2019

Non-payment of council tax is not a criminal offence and cannot attract a custodial sentence.

Committal to prison can only ever be the last resort for non-payment of council tax. Before a magistrates’ court commits someone to prison for failure to pay their council tax, it must have issued a “liability order” and the local authority must have (at least) tried and failed to take control of the debtor’s goods and sell them to recover the debt. Councils have additional powers of enforcement under a liability order, including deduction from earnings, deduction from benefit, charging orders on the property, and bankruptcy. If a council applies for committal to prison, the court must inquire into the debtor’s means, and the council must satisfy the court that there is no other effective method of collection and that failure to pay is due to wilful refusal or culpable neglect. This is to prevent persons who are genuinely unable to pay their council tax from being committed to prison. Where that is the case courts have the power to remit the debt.

The number of people admitted to prison for non-payment of council tax, covering the period 1990 – 2018, can be viewed in Table A2.12 at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/796916/receptions-2018.ods

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